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Eat Local Challenges

The National Cooperative Grocer’s Association wants America to eat local.

By Jodi Helmer

June 10, 2011

Locally grown food

Courtesy David De Lossy/Photodisc/Thinkstock

Do you accept the challenge to eat only locally grown food for a month?

With farmers-market season in full swing, it’s never been easier to find local fruits, veggies, meat and eggs. But could you eat only local foods for an entire month? The National Cooperative Grocer’s Association wants you to find out.

The NCGA "Eat Local, America!” initiative is hosted by food co-ops across the nation throughout the summer and fall. Each co-op establishes its own challenge rules and special events, all aimed at encouraging participants to embrace the locavore movement.

"Summer is an exciting time of year for co-ops; the bounty and diversity of local foods are at their peak,” Robynn Shrader, chief executive officer for NCGA, says. "Eat Local, America! gives us a chance to introduce newbies to the local food movement in a fun, engaging way, and also to challenge local food lovers to get creative.”

Here are details of a few of the Eat Local, America! initiatives taking place during peak growing seasons to help you reduce your "fork print.”

New Orleans Eat Local Challenge

New Orleans, La.

June 1-30

Participants are encouraged to eat locally throughout the month of June. The challenge is divided into three categories: The Ultra-Strict Rule limits participants to foods and ingredients that were grown within 200 miles of the city; the Bienville Rule allows participants to incorporate dried spices (like pepper) into their diets but all other ingredients should come from local sources; Wild Card allows participants to consume coffee, sugar, chocolate and other non-local ingredients that they feel are essentials but encourages the bulk of their diet to come from locally-sourced foods.

A locavore market on June 11 will help participants honor their commitments by providing opportunities to buy, sell and trade local food items with other participants, including foraged foods produce from backyard gardens and wild game.

Tidal Creek Market

Wilmington, N.C.

June 1- 30

Participants are encouraged to set their own goals for the challenge, committing between 10 and 100 percent of their diets to local foods for the month of June. In-store displays offer resources, including menus and meal plans, as well as a chart of what fresh foods are in season, to help participants reach their goals.

Each customer who signs up to take part in the Eat Local challenge will be entered to win a basket filled with local food items.

Willy Street Co-op

Madison, Wis.

September 5-October 2

Wisconsinites are encouraged to take advantage of the fall harvest by signing up for the second annual Eat Local challenge hosted by the Willy Street Co-op.

During the challenge, participants are encouraged eat foods grown or produced within 150 miles of the state capitol building in Madison. Participants can find local foods at the Co-op and local farmers markets as well as community-supported agriculture programs and their own backyards.

The co-op provides sample menus and recipes for dishes made from local ingredients. Throughout the month, store demos and classes will focus on local products.

Willy Street Co-op allows participants to take the challenge for two weeks or the entire month.

Give us your opinion on Eat Local Challenges.
Submit Comment »
Thanks for writing this article.
It would be great if someone would create an app that helps people buy local. Thanks. God bless. Aaron
Aaron, Portland, OR
Posted: 10/17/2015 12:21:31 PM
Annie, Houston, TX
Posted: 11/12/2012 6:51:26 AM
Eating local in Las Vegas is next to impossible. Almost nothing is produced here. All of the stores, including the non-traditional stores are supplied by out of state firms who truck in everything they sell. I suspect that because it is only four driving hours away, most people think that Los Angeles is considered local.

The best that I can hope for here is to work out some bartering deals with my fellow backyard farmers. I do that now for honey and am always looking for more people to trade produce with.
Bruce, Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 6/15/2011 7:55:01 AM
I will definitely eat locally grown food this month. My own!
Galadriel, Lothlorien, ME
Posted: 6/13/2011 11:53:09 PM

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